As a consumer I can’t really remember the last time I used Yahoo or even had a thought about the site. After attending the Yahoo keynote by Marissa Mayer – that might be changing. Over the past year and a half Mayer has taken the company from “they still exist?” to “interesting, tell me more”. With some of the announcements today they’ve reached “I have to check that out” status.
As you might expect, the biggest plays are on mobile. Mayer announced the acquisition of Aviate; an app that hopes to simplify your Android home screen by making it smart. Mayer stated that,
“As we look to the future of mobile we believe the home screen should be smarter and more personalized. Imagine that your phone could deliver the right experience to you at the right time instead of you having to search for it.”
Aviate should do just that. This is something I’ll definitely use once it’s released. I love the idea of having my apps organized based on my current location. For instance, my music app would be moved to the home-screen when I get into my car; or my fitness apps when I walk into the gym.
Yahoo is also working on building on one of their current strengths – news. In November, Yahoo announced that Katie Couric would be joining the Yahoo family as their Global Anchor. Today – Even though it was her birthday; Katie made an appearance on stage. Couric states that “Over the last two decades I have watched in awe – and sometimes frankly in dismay – the breathtaking changes in the media landscape”.
Couric went on to explain some of the great attributes to what she called “Old Fashioned Journalism”. Maybe I’m reading between the lines too much here; but it sure sounded like Katie feels only she and her “Old Media” pals do it right. It’ll be interesting to see if Katie will fit into the new media world in a way that really benefits Yahoo.
I think Yahoo is doing some pretty cool stuff and the significant increase in their stock value over the last year and a half that Mayer has been President and CEO show their doing something right. I’ll give Aviate a shot when it releases; I’ll check out Katie; and I’ll even use yahoo.com/tech to see what I think. My prediction for the coming year is that aggregators will rule online media and if Yahoo does an excellent job of aggregating great content – that’s a win.